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Organized Crime
L.A. fashion district firms raided in cartel money laundering probe
L.A. fashion district firms raided in cartel money laundering probe

Sinaloa cartel bosses had a problem. They were holding a hostage and needed to get the $140,000 ransom his family agreed to pay from the United States to Mexico in the form of pesos. Worried a wire transfer would alert authorities, the drug traffickers turned to an unlikely business: Q.T. Fashion, a wholesaler of maternity clothing in downtown Los Angeles. The hostage's family was directed to give the ransom money to the business, which used it to pay for clothing shipments to a Sinaloa importer, federal officials said. The importer then paid for the goods in pesos — to the cartel. Federal agents raided Q.T Fashion and numerous other businesses in the downtown fashion...

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